Tong Garden Centre secures planning permission for next growth phase

The team at a Bradford garden centre have secured planning approval for a second site as part of their ambitious growth plans.

Leeds City Council’s South and West Plans Panel voted to approve Tong Garden Centre’s plans to transform a former golf club into a £14m garden centre complex that will create up to 250 jobs.

Plans for the former Acanthus Golf Club site in Tingley, South Leeds include a large garden centre with a 1000m2 plant canopy and 2000m2 of outdoor sales space, a 400-seater restaurant, Grass Hoppers indoor and outdoor play and a Hearty’s Food Hall. The existing golf centre building will be the hub for an adventure play area set in five acres for 6 to 14 year olds. There will also be parking for 500 cars. The centre will also be developed with sustainability in mind and will have air source heating, a solar array, rainwater harvesting tank and 50 electric vehicle charging points.

Of the decision, Tong’s Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth said: “We are delighted to have the plans approved after three years working on this project.  It’s been a big team effort and we’d like to thank all involved.  All being well, we intend to start on the site in mid-July with the doors open to the public next July.

“We have learnt a lot over the last six years at Tong and we intend to apply that knowledge to help create a top-class garden centre with something for all the family.  We hope it can be a great addition to the South Leeds area.  We are very excited about the addition of the adventure play area which, in addition to our Grasshoppers play area at Tingley, will offer children up to the age of 14 an exciting space to enjoy themselves.

“Finally, our business is all about our people and we are so pleased that this will create career opportunities for our existing team as well as creating up to 250 jobs for local people.”